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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaking in Ankara, Turkey, on Feb. 9. Photo: Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced Tuesday a 10-year space program that includes missions to the Moon and the development of new satellite systems.

Why it matters: Erdoğan said his country plans to send its citizens into space with international cooperation, build a spaceport with other countries and create a "global brand" of satellite technology, according to AP.

What he's saying: "The national space program will carry our country to an upper league in the global space race," Erdoğan said, according to Turkish state media. "The primary and most important mission of the program is to make the first contact with the Moon in our republic's centennial year [2023]."

  • Erdoğan added that Turkey has spent 2.1 billion liras (around $300 million) on satellite, space, launching systems and space equipment in the last 18 years.

Of note: However, Erdoğan did not give specific details on how the county plans to achieve its ambitious goals.

The big picture: Russian state media reported Tuesday that Turkish Space Agency President Serdar Huseyin Yildirim said Turkey is in the process of a draft agreement with Russia over space cooperation.

  • "For sure, Russia is a very important space nation, we are well aware of that. We indeed want to cooperate," Yildirim said.
  • Erdoğan spoke to Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk last month on possible cooperation in space technologies with Turkish companies, according to Bloomberg.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Feb 9, 2021 - Science

The new Mars club

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The newest missions to Mars are about life on Earth as much as they're about science on the Red Planet.

Why it matters: The United Arab Emirates and China, which each have missions arriving at Mars this week, have tied geopolitical and national ambitions to their Martian endeavors.

Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker
47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Schumer pushes for doomed filibuster changes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer addresses reporters Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Democratic caucus Tuesday night he plans to propose instituting a one-time "talking" filibuster requirement, and bypassing the 60-vote threshold for major legislation, to pass the party's election reforms package via simple majority.

Why it matters: While Schumer acknowledged both votes are expected to fail — and some vulnerable Democrats up for re-election feel it will put them in a tough spot — he argued it's worth putting members on the record for historic legislation.